Saturday, July 11, 2009

Well, It Was Bound to Happen...

As many in the UU blogosphere know, there is a fellow who has engaged in some relentless posts and comments about "injustice, abuse and hypocrisy" within Unitarian Universalism. I won't give his name, but I'll describe the course of events for those unfamiliar...

This individual believes that he had a revelatory experience, and went to the minister of a UU congregation about it. The minister, according to this fellow, dismissed his account as "psychotic" -- and it went downhill from there.

Since then the fellow has had his membership revoked by that congregation; he has responded not only with continually writing letters, emails, blog posts and comments on other people's blogs, but he has picketed that congregation until their current minister felt the need to file for a legal restraining order. Worse, he has gone out of his way to verbally attack and harass various people, especially UU ministers, and appears oblivious to how his behavior affects others.

What caught my attention was how his manner of writing, and his seemignly obsessive focus on one topic -- even to the point of boring and annoying others -- resembled another fellow I've encountered. And, in turn, how their common traits could be possible signs of Asperger's syndrome

Well, when I became yet another one of his targets, I wrote to him privately. I told him my suspicions regarding Asperger's, with the caveat that I was not a professional and was only speculating based on partial information. I explained to him that Asperger's is not considered a form of psychosis or insanity, but that it can and does affect one's ability to interact with others. I told him that I did not wish to engage him in discussion again, unless he consulted a specialist on Asperger's for an evaluation.

My reason for suggesting this is not to belittle or attack him. It is to try to help, just as many folks diagnosed with Asperger's as adults have found it helpful in their lives. And my reason for making it a condition for further discussion is that I don't see the point of engaging in an endless exchange with someone who is not willing to work on how they interact with others.

But, he does not see it that way. He sees it as yet another "attack", and has said as much on his blog. My only reason for responding here is because of how he has portrayed things.

And that, my friends, is all I have to say on the matter. I'm sure he will see this and write yet again. As many other UU bloggers have noted, he seems to have a lot of time on his hands.


UPDATE 7/14/09

Recently, two developments have been brought to my attention regarding this individual -- both disturbing.

The first is that, in response to comments from members of the Asperger's community, this fellow has openly admitted that he is, in his own words, "deliberately rude and offensive" towards various UUs.

The second is that, several months before my private speculation that he might have Asperger's, he publicly did his own "amateur diagnosis" of someone else, as an outright attack.

This changes the entire picture. Asperger's or no, we are dealing with an individual who is blatantly malicious and hypocritical, and who is so desperate for attention that he will say and do anything to get it.

Failing to perceive how you harm others is one thing. Failing to care about it is quite another.

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